This holiday season our thoughts go out to the residents of the Jersey Shore. We often write about the capriciousness of the resort business way of life, due to the seasonal nature of tourism and the fickleness of Mother Nature. Bad seasons, sometimes even back to back ones, are just part of the gig. Lack of snow can ruin ski season business, extended periods of rain dampen summer tourism everywhere, and droughts wreak havoc on water-related businesses. They all seem to be occurring on a more routine basis, and are simply obstacles that we will all have to learn to adjust to.
But what happened to the Jersey Shore was a whole different order of magnitude. The complete destruction of the most visited stretch of coastline in the U.S. is a catastrophe that will have wide-ranging and long lasting effects. For millions of Americans their fondest memories will forever be altered. However, it is precisely due to its enduring popularity that we are hopeful that the Shore will be rebuilt very quickly. Beach resort real estate will remain as popular as ever, though probably more difficult and costly to ensure.
And just as the Gulf Coast had record-breaking tourist seasons in the years following the BP Oil spill we are certain that those who live beyond those narrow coastal sand spits will rally their support around the Jersey Beaches and help make them better, and more popular than ever.